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Coach for Cinderella, A

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Coach for Cinderella, A

Published 1936

Imaginative cartoon that breaks down the parts and features of a Chevrolet automobile into units that can be understood in terms of plant and animal life: caterpillars roll into circles and become automobile tires; in the "visible V-6" fireflies equal spark plugs and mice provide motive power. Naturally, tells part of the Cinderella story, too. Animation supervisor thought to be Frank Goldman.

Run time 9:22
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Seven of the one hundred and eighteen films in Jam Handy's Direct Mass Selling series (see notes for Down the Gasoline Trail) were Technicolor cartoons resembling the studio animation of the period. We do not yet know who the animators were, but it is clear they were drawn from the best of the Hollywood cartoon cadre. A Coach for Cinderella, the first industrial film produced in Technicolor, was the best of Jam Handy's animations and has been a favorite of animation collectors and historians for years. Pictorially and musically, the film resembles European advertising films (especially the early work of George Pal for the Dutch electrical
conglomerate Philips)-one of several indications that exiled European animators may have relocated to Handy's Detroit studios. (Another clue is the stop-motion animation in such films as Auto-Lite on Parade and Precisely So, which is similar to Oskar Fischinger's work of the early thirties.)
Cinderella set a standard for quality to which other American advertising animation would aspire. Indeed, it is rumored that the scene in which birds wrap Cinderella's gown around the wooden dummy was appropriated by Walt Disney for his own Cinderella. Jam Handy films were always exceptional at showing how things work. The achievement here was to break down the parts and features of a Chevrolet automobile into units that could be understood in terms of plant and animal life: caterpillars roll into circles and become automobile tires; in the "visible V-6" fireflies equal spark plugs and mice provide motive power. The other Technicolor cartoons that Jam Handy produced for Chevrolet (most of them have not been seen in over fifty years) were A Ride for Cinderella, One Bad Knight, Peg-Leg Pedro, Nicky Nome Rides Again, The Princess and the Pauper, and Jumping Beans. Hints in the trade papers suggest that the
animation was supervised by Frank Goldman.

Ken Smith notes: This is one of the cartoons produced by Jam Handy for Chevrolet as theatrical shorts -- probably the most beautiful industrial cartoons ever made. The story lines in these shorts are mostly reworkings of children's fairy tales, but they're are so artfully executed that you won't mind. In this cartoon, Cinderella looks like a stylish late '30s flapper and her "finest coach in the land" looks like a Chevrolet. A Coach For Cinderella was the first Technicolor sponsored film. Inspired, in part, by George Pal's advertising films for Philips Petroleum.

cartoons animation animated


Reviewer: Victor Von Psychotron - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2017
Subject: Fun and unusual
Jam Handy made plenty of great advertising films, but this was the first cartoon I'd seen done by their company. It's still an ad film, sure, but it's worth a look.
Reviewer: Classic_TV_and_Radio_Fan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2008
Subject: Brilliant
Prince Vegeta even likes this cartoon.
Reviewer: Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 24, 2008
Subject: Rocks
This cartoon rocks.
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2008
Subject: Quality Propaganda!
Jam Handy knew how to sell Chevrolets quite well, and this ranks among their finest efforts. Now only does this advertise the chevy quite well, it's also an amusing cartoon thats great for kids.
Reviewer: bread - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2006
Subject: classic
delightful cartoon made by the jam handy Organization, it's fun both as a ephemeral film, and a cartoon.well worth the download, this cartoon is lots of fun.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2005
Subject: Cinderella Not Only Gets the Handsome Prince--She Gets...A NEW CAR!!
Not satisfied with just fooling around with newsreels (see the endless permutations of Chevrolet Leader News), Chevrolet had to go and make a cartoon, too. Actually, this is pretty charming. It features a bunch of elves from the wrong fairy tale who decide to help out Cinderella by making her a coach from a pumpkin, a turtle shell, some caterpillars, and lots of other stuff from the forest. They assemble the coach in a way suspiciously similar to an automobile assembly line. Then they put it into a great contraption called a ÂModernizerÂ, and out comesÂÂwait for itÂÂa brand new Chevrolet! This could pass for one of the many fairytale-themed cartoons made during the 30s, and its advertising message is not too heavy-handed. Making this one of the more fun examples of the industrial genre.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Karma Hawk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 12, 2005
Subject: We're gonna pimp your ride.
In this excellent animated short Jam Handy takes some liberties with the Cindrella story we all know and love. Actually this film doesn't really focus much on Cinderella instead choosing to focus on the carrige. What's that you say? The carrige was just an old pumpkin enchanted with some magic, well that's where your wrong. Apparently the coach was actually made by a village of gnomes it's cute and some of it's got that flinstone perk of using live animals for mechanical parts. Eventually they drive the car into the "modernizer" snd out pops a Cheverlet. Recomended.
Reviewer: Maree - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2004
Subject: animators
Just a note to let you know I know who one animators was. He was my Uncle, Frank J McMillan. I have some of the original cells for Jam Handy cartoons. I also have original training films and original drawings for them. Nice to know this is still out there!!
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 11, 2003
Subject: Predates Disney
There are about a dozen version of Cinderella on film before Disney took it on, and here we have Jam Handy's attempt to turn a bit of the story into a Chevy commercial, and for the audacity of that alone it deserves a look. That he manages to pull it off before the audience would realize it's just a commercial is noteworthy, and that it is entertaining and humorous as well is the triumph of advertising, capitalism, and the Amerikan Way.
Reviewer: Elsie - favorite - September 5, 2003
Subject: Anti-Adoption
Is Chevy Suburban, the "largest SUV on the planet," against intercountry adoptions even if those families need a large vehicle just like biological families? If not, why did you advertise in 9.03 National Geographic with the stimatizing hypothetical against adoptions in Inhuman Profit by Lynne Warren???
Reviewer: rainycat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 4, 2003
Subject: Not enough auto technology show-offs.
Being an ardent fan of Disney's Cinderella, I hvae to say this advertisement is quite lovely, although a bit rough (well, no one would throw THAT much money into an advertisement).

Yet I do think the modern elements of the car were not given adequate attention. When this was being downloaded, I really expected a real petrol engine, gears, etc. A "modernizer" is just not enough to show how good your engine is.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 2, 2003
Subject: An sly cartoon..
In this so so animated film the Cinderella theme is used as a catalyst to explain to kids how the assembly line works. We know the tale Cinderella has to go to the ball to meet the prince... but the time little gnomes help her out. They build a very nice coach, but spend little time on cinderella's dress, which of course means the prince will be wowed over by Cinderella's wheels rather then her, and this is why she's presented so drab. I mean, why IS the Cinderella so poorly animated, while the rest of the film is?
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2003
Subject: A Coach made from natural parts
A great little piece of soft sell advertising. On the surface, the film resembles period Disney or Fleischer cartoons, with the cute rounded character design and gentle gags. But as the piece progresses and the "coach" begins to take shape, you see how it really is very subtle advertising. Very well done.

It is also interesting to note how similar ideas and gags would be use later on in Disney's take on the Cinderella story.
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